|View from the Skyfari at the Omaha Zoo|
Although it's still beastly hot with some wild summer storms, the seasons are changing where I live in Nebraska. Teachers went back to school today; students start Wednesday. The Miller clan had a full, fast, busy summer--mostly working on home projects, finishing up a book, traveling for work. But we did manage to work in a fun, week-long vacation. Juggling my son's work schedule, my mom's social calendar (she's a bridge playing ace!), being here for windows and furnace people, etc., the idea of a vacation was a last-minute, we've-got-this-one-week-free-can-you-make-it? time slot, kind of thing. So with little time to plan, we decided to keep it simple. Hubby & I drove down to Missouri to get Mom, then we visited some favorite places in Missouri on the way back to Nebraska, where we visited some wonderful local sites. We ate fabulous, fun meals, learned stuff, shared great conversation and had a lot of fun just exploring the adventures in our own back yard.
Here are some of the highlights:
The Scandinavia Place. One of my favorite shops ever! (they feature art/jewelry/gifts from Scandinavian countries--hubby is Norwegian descent, I've got Scottish and Viking blood, so lots of fun stuff--as well as Vera Bradley (love all the colors!) and local Independence/Kansas City merchandise) The staff is super fun and friendly. And... they had copies of my books on sale there as a local author!! My gran used to live just a couple of blocks from the shop, and I still have lots of family in the KC area.
In Nebraska, we also went to Morrill Hall in Lincoln, which is the home of the University of Nebraska State History Museum and Mueller Planetarium. Saw an interesting star show at the planetarium (hubby & son love astronomy). And, we saw the largest complete mammoth skeleton in the world. And it WAS huge! Scary to think of facing off against that thing with only clubs or spears. Eek!
My favorite place we visited was probably the Omaha Zoo. We spent a day there, and still didn’t get to see all the wonderful exhibits. It enjoys the reputation of being one of the finest zoos in the world, and I can see why. It features exhibits based on different types of habits—the Desert Dome, the Scott Aquarium, The Lied Jungle (rainforests), Kingdoms of the Night (saw an albino alligator!), the African savanna, and so on. Loved the Skyfari ride where we rode above the African animals. We were taller than the giraffes! But my favorite were the gorillas—they put on quite a show for us. One silverback charged the window and slapped it, leaving a handprint bigger than a man’s foot (the zoo people said he was just “establishing his territory”).
|My son and I in the Lied Jungle|
|Hubby, Mom and son at Scott Aquarium (sharks swimming overhead)|
What are the hidden “adventures” close to your home that you’d recommend to someone who wants to take a quick mini-vacation? Please share your thoughts. (I’m always looking for interesting places where I can travel)
Tomorrow I’ll pick a winner and I’ll give away a copy of my brand new release, TASK FORCE BRIDE, to one lucky poster!